Um, sir? Nobody asked you

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Pay your taxes, obey the law and you’re good to go.

Or stay.

But please, if you’re new to town, don’t try to change anything but your socks.

A recent California transplant raised hackles aplenty last week when his opposition to a proposed development saw the light of print. Assuming the gentleman pays his taxes and otherwise commits no crimes, he’s welcome to his opinion. If you ask folks who read his remarks and roared, though, the transplant’s opinion would best be kept to himself.

It’s not a new issue. We’re all blessed to live in a place where many others wish they could live. But few things incite internal riots more than Johnny-and-Joanie-Come-Latelies laying it on thick and heavy how they think the local script should be written.

This is not to suggest that Idaho natives should get two votes in every election, 20-year+ residents should get one, and newcomers should get a kick in the arse. But when it comes to weighing the merits of what residents want and don’t want, better for the newbees to button up until they’ve lived here long enough to understand and appreciate why things are the way they are. Then, maybe then, someone will listen to their humble suggestions for support, opposition or change.

Here’s a little more free advice (and worth every penny.) No newcomer has the strength to slam the same door that let them in. If it’s change you seek, you probably came to the wrong place. Too many times, people move and immediately set about trying to remake their new home into the place they just left. Trying to remake a new place into an old place that was so unsavory you had to leave just isn’t very logical. Announcing it in a public forum will not make you many friends, either.

Our region is struggling with all sorts of growth issues, from increases in traffic and housing prices to shortages in the workforce because so many businesses are growing right along with the population. But these are the best kinds of problems to have.

Anybody been to Illinois recently? Taxes are through the roof, quite literally. Public entities struggle to pay their bills on time. Layoffs are the norm. The fiscally disastrous Land of Lincoln is in many ways the opposite of balanced-budget Idaho, which might explain why Illinois’ population is evaporating and Idaho’s is booming.

North Idaho is far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than many places. Pay your taxes, obey the law and respect the rights of others, and we’ll get along just fine.

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